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'Dead' Gadhafi Son 'Appears' on TV

Khamis, the feared military commander and son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, was shown on state television on Wednesday, days after rebels reported his death.

Tripoli denied the claim at the time, but a rebel spokesman on Wednesday insisted that Khamis was dead.

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U.S., Europe Say U.N. Action against Assad Getting Closer

Western nations stepped up demands for U.N. measures against President Bashar Assad after the Syrian leader ignored repeated calls for an end to the bloodshed in his country.

But U.N. Security Council battlelines were drawn when Russia's U.N. envoy said calls for sanctions did not help end the crackdown by Syrian security forces in which rights groups say more than 2,000 civilians have died.

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Assad Admits 'Some Mistakes' to U.N. Security Council Delegation

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad admitted Wednesday that his security forces had made "some mistakes" in battling protests, as he met with several U.N. Security Council members.

The deputy foreign ministers from the three emerging powers of Brazil, India and South Africa met Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Damascus to call for an "immediate end to all violence" in Syria, a statement said.

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U.S. Edges towards Call for Assad's Departure

The United States Wednesday again stopped short of explicitly calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power, but said it would help his people achieve "dignity and freedom."

Washington further stiffened its stance, after a crackdown on protesters which has killed 2,000 people, by unveiling new sanctions on the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria, the country's largest commercial bank.

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Syrian Forces Kill 16 in Homs, Storm Idlib Town

Syrian security forces shot dead 16 people in the protest hub of Homs on Wednesday, activists said.

Security forces "fired indiscriminately on residents of the Baba Amro neighborhood, killing 11 people," an activist told Agence France Presse by telephone from the central city.

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U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Syria Largest Commercial Bank, Lebanon Subsidiary

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Syria's largest commercial bank and largest mobile phone operator, stepping up the pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The moves targeting the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria, its Lebanon-based subsidiary and telecoms company Syriatel are the latest taken by Washington against Syria over its crackdown on anti-regime protests.

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Tunisia Demo Protests Deadly Syria Crackdown

Dozens of people protested Wednesday outside the Syrian embassy in Tunisia, where the Arab world uprisings began, to demand an end to the "carnage" in Syria and the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.

The demonstrators also called for Tunis to expel the Syrian ambassador.

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Erdogan to Assad: You Can't Speak of Reform as People are Being Killed

Turkey's ambassador to Damascus visited Syrian's flashpoint protest hub of Hama, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, as Syrian army vehicles left the town.

"Our ambassador went to Hama and said that the tanks, security forces had started to leave Hama. This is highly important to show that our initiatives had positive results," Erdogan said in televised remarks, addressing his party members in Ankara.

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Syria in Talks with International Delegates

Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told envoys from Brazil, India and South Africa on Wednesday that Syria is committed to hold talks with pro-democracy protesters and engage in reforms, official SANA news agency said.

"Syria is committed to the national dialogue and enacting the reforms announced by President Bashar al-Assad on June 20, 2011," Muallem told the delegates, SANA reported.

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Syrian Army Quits Hama after 10-Day Raid

Dozens of Syrian army vehicles packed with soldiers left the flashpoint protest hub of Hama on Wednesday 10 days after storming the central city to fight "armed groups," an Agence France Presse correspondent saw.

Forty personnel carriers decked with Syrian flags rolled out of Hama with soldiers chanting slogans praising embattled President Bashar Assad, said the journalist who visited the city on a tour organized by the authorities.

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